By: Blonde Two

At around this time of year, each year, the Two Blondes (and most of the Ten Tors adult team) get to Point GiveUp.  Point GiveUp is not a newly discovered Dartmoor tor, a huge bronze age cairn or indeed, an odd bend in a river.  Point GiveUp is the point at which you think – “I can’t do this anymore, this is my last year.”

Sometimes the sleepless camp nights, the long weeks and the hours of preparation/kit sorting can seem too much.  As can caring for youngsters with cramp, blisters, exhaustion, ankles, arms, shoulders, wet sleeping bags and even vomit.  It can be difficult and guilt ridden trying to explain weekend absences to tolerant partners and families.  We are a good and close adult team who watch each other’s backs, but sometimes, even for us, there is arguing and grumpiness and disagreement (all of it comes from a desire to keep the youngsters safe and happy).  I guess you have to be a determined type to do something like Ten Tors training and we all know what happens when you put lots of determined people together!

One of the ways that I keep myself motivated is to keep a photo of all of us, kids included, just before Ten Tors start, on my fridge at home.  That way when I am packing yet another lunch into my rucksack, I can see the reason behind it.  But every now and again, there comes along a moment that makes all of the worries, arguments and stresses disappear.  It can happen as suddenly as a tor disappearing into the mist and is usually just when you need it.

This year, for me, it was a small girl with an enormous rucksack.  She had walked for hours over horrible ground and was clearly so tired at one meeting point that she had been given the opportunity to drop out back to the bus.  She would have had every excuse to do so with dignity but this plucky small girl elected to carry on.  The look on her face as she reached the finish point on time and with her team was worth a million tired Mondays and wet tents.

It happens every year one way or another and every year, it changes the Two Blondes’ minds about giving up.  If these kids can keep going – then so can we!